Operational Excellence: From Digital Overload to Human-Edge Data

From changing demand patterns and complex initiatives to an aging and retiring workforce and the constantly widening skills gap – industrial hardships are constantly growing. Now, we have the additional challenge of digital overload.

As the demand to instantly analyze data grows, workers are constantly bombarded with information – much of which has little or no value.

Digital Overload

Industrial organizations constantly generate huge amounts of data. While this data boosts OEE and enhances worker productivity, not all the data is collected is useful. Today’s workers are an integral part of the connective ecosystem, but bombarding them with trivial data leads to digital overload.

In this hybrid work era, where workers are required to use multiple tools and technologies, the problem of digital distraction is growing. According to a recent study by Microsoft, the digital workload can result in employee dissatisfaction and reduced engagement.

The study notes that the average video meeting time is now 10 minutes longer, and workers are dealing with 45% more business messaging chats per week. Nearly 42% of which are after hours.

In the industrial sector, the problem is further amplified by data flowing in from machines, tools, and systems. Data is flowing faster than the pace at which it can be analyzed. The number of tools and applications is beyond workers’ processing capabilities, and decision-making quality is eroding.

When working in a state of digital overload, tasks aren’t done as planned, errors become more frequent, and creativity and innovation suffer. This impacts employee morale, confidence, and generates unnecessary stress.

Capitalizing the Human Edge

Connected workforce solutions, ensure workers have access to the tools and information they need to efficiently do their jobs. But this doesn’t mean drowning them with systems and information.

Instead, organizations must provide them with the appropriate data at the appropriate time.

Capitalizing on advanced solutions and edge devices plays a huge role in empowering the front-line worker. But to facilitate this change, there are two questions organizations must ask:

  1. How can we make the most of existing infrastructure and investments – without overwhelming workers with new technology – while also preparing for future growth?
  2. How do we get executive-level sponsorship and end-user buy-in for field-level connected worker technology – without draining budgets or delaying time-to-value?

If you want to tackle digital workplace overload, you need to know the digital workplace’s role in your organization, and what that role is planned to change into in the future. This helps set the stage for realistic tool provision and use, and in establishing workplace norms that encourage healthy digital behaviors.

Today, the knowledge, connectivity, and tools a connected workforce has at its fingertips give new possibilities for how work is done. However, even though digital tools and systems are becoming essential, there are downsides as well and companies must stay aware of them.

Digital overload and distraction are real issues troubling industrial organizations and negatively affecting employee efficiency and engagement, in addition to morale and confidence.

Optimizing employee access to tools that are relevant to their positions and tasks at hand, filtering data so that they are not overwhelmed with frivolous observations and readings, and providing the proper insights at the appropriate time are all important to ensure continued efficient and productive workplace operations.

About Guardhat

Guardhat is pioneering end-to-end connected worker safety solutions for industrial workers. We offer cutting-edge, wearable technology; a proprietary connected worker platform – unrivaled in its ability to ingest, manage and analyze unstructured data; easy to deploy monitoring and reporting software; and a growing ecosystem of partner integrations.

Guardhat enables companies to monitor worker location, health, and work environment to shorten reaction time and help proactively solve safety challenges. We hold 15 patents in real-time location systems, wearable solution design, and connected worker software. If you are interested in our connected safety solutions – including situational awareness, environmental and biometric monitoring, multi-modal communication, RTLS, and other advanced technology solutions – contact us to arrange a demo.


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